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Vayne General Guide by Lotharica

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Lotharica

Vayne Hunter-Killer

Lotharica Last updated on December 2, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hy all, this is my first build here on mobafire. Vayne is one of my favorite characters, although Kog'Maw (thank you Mowen for a really good guide on Kog btw) is my one true love. I followed various builds I found here on mobafire or other sites, but to tell you the truth... none seemed to cope with my play style.

First off, Vayne's strength comes from her passive silver bolts. Harassing is one of her main roles early on (farming is top priority). In short, you have a good farming champion with good harass and gank evasion, what more can you ask for. Also she is very fun to play.

In this guide you will find an item build, different tactics and approaches on how to play Vayne.I am opened to any suggestions and ideas, but frankly I've seen most of the Vayne possible builds out there some very good actually, one vital part missing though... the tactcs behind it all. Vayne is not a very easy to play champion, although if you practice with her a couple of matches you will find out she is a deadly lady with no sense of humor.

Also I warn people this is a guide with full in depth tactics and strategies. Each decision, preparation and item is explained so people can adapt Vayne to their game style. If you want a quick guide on how to play her or simply don't have the patience please visit other great guides about her on mobafire.

This is just my guide on how to build Vayne for different situations, you can always experiment and do what ever changes you think to suit your play style better. So, let's get going.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Masteries
3. Runes
4. Skill Sequence & Summoner Spells
5. Items explanation (core+situational)
6. Early Game
7. Mid Game
8. Late Game
9. Tactics explained
10. Closing Statements

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So why these masteries? Well Vayne in my view is one of the best hunter/killers in this game. Although she is squishy, mid-late game she is the main killer of the team. Able to dodge skill shots like no other champ and to evade ganks.

Offensive masteries are best for her, lots of armor pen at lvl 1, making you the most probable player to have first blood bonus (this is very important). This is why I chose a classic 21/0/9.

Many have argued on Vayne's survivability with this setup but let me explain please:

Vayne needs to deal lots of damage. With this setup you have 6% life steal from lvl 1. Also you have a small speed bonus that you will definitely feel at level 2 or 3 when you buy your Berserkers greaves. Your starting armor pen usually renders any champ be it tank, carry or anything else without armor dealing huge damage with tumble and auto-attack.

Mid/Late Game the bonus stacks with the black-cleaver and AD from Bloodthirstier enabling you to play either as a hit and run carry or straight out panic in the enemy team when they see you.

The movement speed bonus stacks with you boots and your passive, so it is in your best interest to keep the enemy fleeing at your sight. Most times you will probably be looking for back-door pushers. Do not be afraid to engage a champion like Alistar or Tryndamere. Actually Tryndamere is one of my favorite kills :)

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Runes are like bullets in the first 5 levels. They increase your damage output, your armor and magic resist and also grant you the possibility to get that so important first blood kill.

First the marks:
They are your primary runes, enabling you to deal huge damage through the whole game.
I present to you:
Greater Mark of Desolation
Armor penetration is your main objective as Vayne. The more you have the better. This enables your to kill tanks as easy as killing squishies.

Vayne needs something to keep her alive. Even though the masteries chosen are of no real help here, the seals and glyphs are enough for you to harass and eventually kill the enemy in the first 3 levels. I have chosen these: Greater Seal of Armor because I am really interested in surviving the first 6 levels without dieing. The reason I chose flat-out Armor instead of the scalable ones is because i need that armor at level 1 not at 18. By late game i can always buy a situational item like Thornmail.

Like with the seals, Vayne needs a boost to her resits, magic resist is important early game, you never know what champion you may encounter. Thus I think Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is the way to go. First 6 levels you will definitely feel you can harass with little to no damage taken from other champs.

Now here I had a tough choice to make. I really liked Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed on Kog, they help you harass and make kills easy. But on Vayne, even with boots and the boost from Swiftness it wasn't enough for me to secure a kill early on. Thus I had no other choice but Greater Quintessence of Desolation. Made my life a sweet dream with Vayne. The enemy usually fears me and either tries to kill me first (big mistake) or simply tower hug.

Now the cost for these runes is 10455 IP. It is fairly cheap for the deadly champion your are creating. After making these investments in Vayne I farmed about 20000 IP in 1/2 weeks with her, win after win after win.

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Skill sequence & Summoner Spells

The final step before battle.

Let me firstly explain the skill sequence I chose:

Night Hunter -> This is a passive I personally thought is was kind of useless at first. Then after a few games I found it to be perfect for harass, harass and more harass. Also enabled me to secure last hits on fleeing champions and when playing blind picks, get allot of angry protests from my lane partner.

Tumble -> This is a very good skill for evading and or securing the final blow to a fleeing enemy at level 1. Deals enough damage to take about 25% of their health (in case you focused a squishy) or 15% (in case you focused a tanky champ). It is your bread-and-butter skill until level 6. It also lets you tower dive for a kill and use flash as an escape spell before the tower kills you.

Condemn -> I prefer this as a second skill because it enables me to have some CC. Condemn should only be used as a way to pin your enemy down and kill him or save your partner or yourself from being killed while fleeing from a lost skirmish in the lane. I often found myself making a double kill because of this skill, using my lane partner as a bait and retreating, using condemn on the enemy with less hp (preferably 50% or less), pinned to the wall for stun and extra damage + tumble and there you go, a good kill and your partner saved :D

Silver Bolts -> This will be your best skill from mid-game onwards. This is what really defines Vayne as a Hunter Killer char. It deals true damage on the third hit, which you should boost by using Tumble on it. Not only you will deal huge damage but also you will have a psychological advantage on the enemy. They run like hell when they see you pwned them to 50% HP with only 3 hits. Biggest mistake ever against Vayne. With this you can over power your enemies, make them flee and die or just stand in a one vs one with them. I hunt the jungler pretty often at lvl 3 because of this skill. I get a kill, make a run for it, retreat to my lane and then make as bait to ensure another kill for my lane partner. This tactic, although risky, enables me to ward the place so my teams jungler can efficiently gank in my lane.

Final Hour -> Vayne already has good skills, but this makes her complete. She can trully call herself a killer with her ulti on. Not only you deal more damage, more attack speed, more speed but you also have a way of escaping, turning invisible for 1.5 seconds. In combination with silver bolts and tumble you make short work of most champions, except tanks. Even they loose about 60% of their hp after a one on one with you and start to flee. Depends if you can or not to secure the kill, but usually you can without being ganked :)

After all that being said and done let's check out the summoner spells.

I chose these to:

Flash is great, even after Riot have nerfed it. It allows you to escape, pursue, jump over walls or in brushes. Vayne needs it for all situations.

Exhaust is very good for Vayne. I found it best because it allows me to secure double kills easily. While I focused the tanky champ I want to kill the squishy one also. Usually that's a ranged AD char. Exhaust reduce movement speed and attack speed, also attack damage and hp regen from heal or pots. It gives Vayne the time she needs to kill the tanky champ and pursue and kill the squishy also. It is perfect even in mid-late game. After a team fight is over you can either use it to kill the last fleeing enemy or slow down their AD carry so you can escape. Either way it is priceless.

Other useful summoner spells:

-> it gives you a speed boost and you can walk through minions. Very useful but then again it only last for a few seconds and usually you find your self ganked because you used it to pursue a fleeing enemy.

-> the attack speed and AP could prove useful, but it is just burst damage. AP on Vayne is not very good, Condemn and Tumble benefit from it, but that's all. I tried it a couple of times and frankly I found exhaust more pleasing.

-> a very good summoner spell for all champs. It gets you where you want to go fast. Vayne can backdoor easily late-game, sometimes that's what she needs to do to ensure victory. This is a good summoner spell for mid-late game, but for early i prefer Exhaust.

and are also good choices. Ignite is good for fleeing enemies, why risk a tower dive when you have this? But then again, it is not as useful for retreat like Exhaust or Flash or Ghost. Now Promote is great for pushing. I choose this if I don't have a good tanky champ with me on lane. It allows me to make the enemy tower-hug and let me farm in peace while also destroying their tower pretty quickly. This is good if the enemy has good late-game champions. Rush the destruction of towers, push them back to their base and keep the pressure on them. You farm gold, kills and towers and your team benefits from it. But this is a summoner spell a tank should have not you, the killer of the team.

The rest of the summoner spells are not useful at all for Vayne, regardless of what build you are making. They simply do not work with her so do not take any of them. Remember you are the killer of the team, you need to be deadly, not a support, tank, pusher. Plain out damage dealer that the enemy either focuses or flee from.

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ItemItems explanation (core+situational)

Now we are ready for battle. Match begins. I will start with the core items explanation first.

-> Attack speed and movement speed. Just perfect. The 25% attack speed really comes in handy at level 3 when you get your silver bolts. By that time you should have farmed 920 gold for them and a little extra for 1-2 hp pots. The movement speed also helps you secure kills and flee in case of a disastrous gank.

-> This will ensure you have enough attack speed to use your [Silver Bolts] with deadly effect. Also the armor reduction stacks up with you ARP. The AD is just the cherry on the top. When you have this enemies will really fear you making you either their main target or their worst nightmare.

-> More AD and life steal? Why not. You already have 6% life steal. Add 15% to that and you get 21%. Not bad. This way you wont be forced to go back to the base all the time, surprise the enemy with 1 vs 1 combat and rip to shreds their tank. The AD bonus on minions is great. Just remember to max it out before a team fight. Just kill minions or a couple of jungle neutrals. Get the red buff if it is available. You deal damage, you need it most. All that said, the perfect item for mid game.

-> More life steal? Yes. This item helps your whole team and boosts up your stats like crazy. The attack speed bonus is great, the life steal also. You deal huge damage, why retreat after every skirmish or team fight when you can simply life steal from minions or the enemy? You will simply not die. On top of all that the armor reduction bonus in combination with your runes+masteries+ The Black Cleaver means that tanks are simply useless against your attacks. Even with Thornmail they will be squishy for your attacks.

-> One of the best items in the game. Crit+Attack Speed+Movement Speed. What more can you wish for? This item is probably the last you will finish in the game, though many will disagree with me on this. I will explain in the Mid Game section why this is saved for last. All in all when you finish this your core items are done. All you need now is to adapt to the enemy team and how the game is going.

Situational items:

As an AD carry you have important choices to make. You are the killer of the team, but of no use if you die first. Late game the damage you receive is huge, sometimes one-hit and puf, you are dead thinking that my build sucks :P

For this I prepared some of my favorites:

-> This item is as offensive as it is defensive. It helps you escape or kill. Slow + damage + Health. And 700 health sometimes is what keeps you alive. If you are facing a balanced enemy team this is the best way to go. Your life steal should be enough to keep you alive. The slow can enable you to switch targets. For example: first hit the enemy tank, he gets slowed, if he is in a good position for your condemn pin him to the wall. Now your tank rushes in the middle of them. Change target to their AP carry and kill. Probably their chargers are all over you. Use halfway trough the ap carry's health. Tumble. Invis and they lost target on you. Now is time for life leach. Kill the ap carry, focus on ad carry or low hp charger. Retreat a little if you are overwhelmed. Tumble again, invis -> ad carry down. Ulti is out but condemn is up. Use it on your next target by positioning your self with flash or tumble. Pin him to the wall, he dead. Then focus on the tank. The charger most probably is either dead or simply runs for his life along side the support. Easy kills for you. Usually you would have been dead by now, but Frozen Mallet + Life Steal and some nice combo skills made you the killer when you should have been their main target. This is the turning point of the game. You win a team fight like this... they loose the game. They will fear your and that is what makes you the hunter killer :)

-> This item is best used against teams with HP stackers. For example: Nasus , Dr. Mundo , Rammus , Vladimir , Mordekaiser , Cho'Gath . A little boost in armor +25 that is always welcomed, the attack speed boost helps with life steal and the 4% hp damage every hit really shreds them to pieces. That stacked with your damage from [Silver Bolts] means they can have 20k hp, they go down in a matter of seconds.

-> This is in case the enemy team stacks up armor. Just check their item builds. If you see lots of Thornmail then buy this item. More damage and +40% ARP. Usually this is good agains tanks like: Leona , Rammus , Taric .

-> I usually do not recommend this item, but if you get focused all the time and your team can't really protect you this is the best option out there. You get revived with 750 hp. Enough to make a kill or escape. But as i stated, usually there are better options than this.

-> This is very useful as a last item against powerful AD melee like Tryndamere , Xin Zao, Master Yi, Jarvan IV, Warwick, Irelia, Nocturne.

-> This is against powerful AP carry. More move speed, more hp regen, more magic resist. Ap carries like: Brand , LeBlanc , Ezreal , Annie , Xerath , Swain , Kennen.

-> Many who play on AD Carries say this is a must. For me it is only in case I really want to deal huge damage. But frankly, the 3800 gold you need for it is something i don't agree on. Late game, when farming is easy, maybe. But early it is not worth it. To build an Infinity Edge early-mid game means you either are very lucky with kills (somewhere around 10-12 kills and a couple of assists) or you are wasting precious time. Hard to make, hard to farm for it, in the long run you get better DPS by stacking The Black Cleaver and The Bloodthirster in terms of damage, attack speed and life steal. Late game though it could prove to be just what you need to overwhelm your enemy. Also building this item early on will most surely put a huge mark on your back, since the enemy will want to keep you with this and your greaves for as long as they can.

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Early Game

So now we start. First item to buy is . I tried different starting items but I find that the 100 hp, 10 damage and 3% are more than enough for starting.

In this phase you should always have a stunner with you or a CC char. For example Alistar, Taric or Pantheon. Personally I find it best when I am paired with a good Blitzcrank. In any case Vayne should not be in mid. She can do well there, but the best for her is on a lane. Your first aim should be to get the first blood bonus early. At the level 1 skirmish try to land a kill. If you can't don't push it or you might end up feeding the enemy team. After that your goal is harass, farm, harass, farm.

Definition of harassing (at least from my point of view). By harassing I mean keep pressure on the enemy. Land a hit now and then, tumble and retreat. Kill minions, tumble and retreat. Force them to go back as often as you can. This should be a perfect way to force them in making mistakes. They may charge you with 50% hp, use exhaust, tumble hit, condemn, tumble-> hit, last hit. Should be enough.

Let's say you had a mediocre game with no kills. But you farmed. Last hitting minions is crucial. So you farmed about 1000 gold by level 5. Go back, buy Berserker's Greaves and some hp pots. As soon as you get back and make level 6 prepare your zone for some killing. Try to buy Zeal until you reach level 6.

For this your partner should understand his role, he is there just to support your farming and harassing. He must wait before buying items and ward the place against jungler ganks. Always place wards in the bush towards their tower, gives you a good area of control. You see them, they do no know that. Usually the brush is where you make your kills. If you see an enemy hiding in the bush let him stay there a couple of seconds without reacting. This way he figures the place is not warded. Then it is a matter of Tumble -> Condemn -> Silver Bolts -> Tumble -> Silver Bolts -> Dead guy. Use your ulti, if you have it between the first tumble and the first Condemn. Probably you wont have to use the second Tumble, unless you think you can kill the second enemy.

Now, after level 6 your main goal is to end the lane phase. Do so by destroying their tower. Push, push, push. After the tower is down go mid for gank or start hunting the enemy jungler. Ask for clairvoiance at enemy blue buff, if the dragon is up go kill it. Move mid and try to gank or swiftly destroy the mid tower. Move top fast and destroy that tower also. All this should happen in 4-7 minutes. After that go home. If all goes well you landed a kill, destroyed 3 towers, killed dragon. This means you go back to base with 300+450+190=940 gold. Add the farming and time spent on the map, you should have enough to buy yourself the B.F. Sword .

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Mid Game

So you have these items now:

Doran's Blade , Zeal and B.F. Sword .

Now you have a decent attack speed, decent damage and the enemy somewhat know you are dangerous. They will try to focus you and gank you. Use this to your advantage. Be the bait. Set up ganks and bring the enemy team to your teams ambushes. Each time you kill 2-3 guys of their own push. DO NOT STOP IN FRONT OF THE TOWER AND WAIT FOR THEM TO RESPAWN. Just go with minions and hit the tower as often as you can. If they hit you once or twice does little to you. They are afraid. Let's say your team played well and the second tower in mid is down. Go with your initial lane partner and kill the dragon again. Ward the path as you go. Return to mid for ganking the enemy team who pushes your 3 other teammates. Be careful. With a little luck and vision you win another team fight. Enter team fights with your ulti activated. It is crucial to your survival. If they try to focus you just tumble. You get out of their aim. Always when tumbling return to your initial position or flash behind your tank. Condemn the best target of oportunity and focus him. Dead guy walking. Next focus the squshies who run away in panic. Ignore their tank. Exhaust him so he wont bother you. This way your team lands another kill.

Mid-game is all about teamfights. Ganks and counter-attacks. Do not spend this time at their base tower, it is pointless. Go kill some neutrals around your team. Bait the enemy in thinking they can gank you. After a couple of team fights you should be able to complete the following items:

The Black Cleaver , The Bloodthirster , Stark's Fervour. At this point the enemy is thinking the only way to win is get Baron buff and push like crazy. Another opportunity to gank them. Ward the baron, let them initiate the fight, just lay low on mid with your team. When they attack baron go in for the kill. Ulti, tumble just before the first brush and the condemn their support, carry or ap carry. Kill it, then switch to the next lowest on health. So on and so forth until only their tank is left. This tactic presumes you have a good team and can rely on them for knowing what targets to focus. Kill baron. Mid-game is over. By now you should be able to complete your Phantom Dancer.

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Late Game

If the games reaches this stage you should have all the core items and should be thinking about what item to get in order to aid your team get the edge. This means all players have lvl 17-18, 80% of their builds done and the game is very balanced. Now it is the time where inhibitors, team play, wits and tactics win rather than items, runes and masteries.

You should try to think how to counter their most powerful damage dealer. If he is neutralized fast your team wins the game. By now towers do not deal so much damage and 2 players can easily bring in down in a matter of seconds. Pushing is easy, as long as there are no enemy players defending the area.

Think what item you need. If you die fast you need something to counter that. Either build up on AD and Life steal or armor, health, magic resist. All that matters is you have to score at least 3 kills in team fights or help you team by killing at least one of the enemies and badly injuring another. Pick carries as your main target. They die fast, they panic and this means your team can win. If they have experienced players try to learn their pattern movement. See how they position in battle and try to flank them. Do not dive in the middle of them trying to kill their carry. You will be killed in 1 second and leave your team with no true damage dealer. Use flash to reposition, tumble and condemn to save your team mates while securing some damage to one of the enemy. Tanks are afraid of you so keep harassing them, one shot and retreat, one shot and retreat. Always keep tumble ready for retreat.

Let's say your tank initiates a fight, simply activate ulti and hunt their carries. This will leave them with not damage dealers. Then kite a tank and replenish your hp. Dive in that tank and kill him. The rest is easy. Push and destroy the nexus. If minions are far behind ensure that while at the enemy tower you have some enemy minions nearby. When you reach 50% hp start life stealing on minions. Then return to the tower and bring it down. Follow up on the inhibitor then retreat. If your whole team is with you push like crazy. It is a matter of time. Keeping pressure will ensure that the enemies will come one at a time or 2 at a time. Easy pickings.

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Tactics Explained

League of Legends is a tactical game. It is also a team game. This means you and your fellow summoners need to work together in order to accomplish a certain goal. Often I heard in ranked games someone who was complaining about Kill Steal. That person needs to learn this game better so ignore it. You need gold as soon as possible as the main AD carry. This means you need most of the kills. This ensures the superiority of your team in early-mid game.

Vayne is quite a unique champion. She can have multiple roles. I usually like it as a Hunter. I go and hunt enemy carries and junglers. Especially the junglers. They do not expect me coming to kill them. When I arrive they either run away or try to fight me until reinforcements arrive. As a hunter you must know how to quickly kill and disappear. In order to do so, if you know where the enemy jungler is do not rush in. Let him fight mobs so his HP is somewhere 60%. Condemn and tumble. It should be enough to leave him with about 15% hp and stunned. Enough for you to give him 3 Auto-attacks and... dead guy. After that retreat, but not towards your lane. Go towards mid. If you see the enemy moving towards you on both sides just go towards their base and wait in a bush. If they come close condemn+flash. Go to another bush, they will follow you trying to anticipate your next move. Wait for them, tumble and condemn, exhaust on the one with full HP. Kill the one with low hp and tumble again. Now you are out of mana but have some serious damage on your hand. By now your team mates should be near you so lure the remaining enemy to them. Bang bang, he's dead also. Now go home and buy some items. Return to your lane. They will fear you.

This kind of tactics usually stop the enemy from thinking they can dominate the map and roam freely. They will fear you each time you go MIA. So they will begin tower hugging, thus benefiting your whole team who can farm without being harassed. Keep in mind that this trick works once or twice. After that the enemy usually ward the whole place making it impossible for you or your team to gank.

After this guerrilla warfare is over and you can farm until level 7 start ripping the enemy to pieces with your ulti and silver bolts. Positioning is key to success. Also, never underestimate the enemy. Even if you early game was good and your team leads with 10 or so kills, this does not mean they are harmless. Keep baiting them into killing you. Your team should make some gold out of it. Dominate the map at all times, your support and tank should ward the key points of the map constantly.

This tactic usually renders a surrender from the enemy team. As they try to gank your team and fail, as they try all out team fights and they fail, as they try harassment and they fail. Most teams accept surrender without trying to play defensively in their base.

However, there are some "spartans" out there that refuse to surrender. These are the most troublesome. Your team should not attempt in pushing on one lane only. If you have the map to yourselves, 3 can keep the enemy busy at the tower and 2 can start killing dragon, back dooring (one on each lane) and so on and so forth. Keep them guessing where you will strike next, what tower will fall and when you will go and kill baron. This way they will be chaotic and miss-organized. Your team should focus on the farming part here, taking turns. For example, after you and your lane partner farmed the map, go and exchange places with the ap carry and charger of the team. Now they farm neutrals, get buffed up and back door where possible. Always try to be near, as the 2 can be ganked if not careful. Wards are the key to victory. Intelligence wins the match. The more your teams knows about the enemy the better.

This is usually the easiest way to win a match. Unfortunately games do not go this way very often. Thus you must improvise. You are the Hunter Killer of the team, you must make kills. Be creative and try to anticipate the enemy's movements and actions. As long as you come out of a bush with a condenm in his face yelling "Surprise!!!", kill him and then disappear you are sure to make hell for your enemy team.

One more thing, if your team does not use wards (though they should because wards are the only way to really have control of a zone), buy them. It will slow your personal item build, but then again it will save your entire match. I had games where i carried at level 6, 5 wards with me. But by placing them in key points allows you to mass exactly where it is needed. Employ ganks and ambushes. All in all making the game real fun :)

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Closing Statements

Now I will not brag about some fantastic games I had with Vayne and post the stats screen. I find it silly.

I will how ever draw up some conclusions about Vayne (pro's and cons if you like):

Pro's Cons:
1. It is fun. 1. Very Squishy
2. Huge damage. 2. Item dependent
3. Great ambusher and ganker 3. Get's focused very often
4. High constant DPS 4. Worst dance moves in the game
5. High fear factor
5. No sense of humor.


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